Tuesday, September 15, 2009

San Francisco Treat

I heard a segment on the radio this morning about Healthy San Francisco, the city's current health care program for its uninsured. I was surprised I hadn't heard of this before (the program is in its third year), and found it to be a small, refreshing tidbit amongst all this health care hullabaloo. The program does not offer health insurance, but it does offer participants health care in clinics and hospitals in the city:

How are the results? Hospital admissions of plan members have dropped, and the average stay for those who wind up in the hospital has been cut almost in half...

The program, now in its third year, is proving popular. More than 43,000 people were enrolled as of June, up from 24,000 a year before...

Employers in the city fretted over a 2008 mandate requiring they offer health coverage to employees, contribute to workers' health savings accounts or pitch in on Healthy San Francisco. But predictions the requirements would drive businesses under haven't proved true.

"The San Francisco experiment is working, and it's working well,"Ken Jacobs, chair of the University of California, Berkeley labor center, said last month, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. "There's no evidence of any impact of the ordinance on employment in San Francisco."

No program is perfect (and working within the limits of our current jumbled government can prove to be quite a challenge), but this seems to be making some real headway. Big props to the City by the Bay for at least starting to chip away at this big, honkin' problem!

It doesn't appear as though there are creatures from the pits of hell crawling out from beneath the earth there quite yet. Maybe, just MAYBE, actually helping people get taken care of when they're sick isn't so scary ;)

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